By Geo Ong
If you live in New York City, enjoy watching movies, and haven’t yet been to Film Forum in Greenwich Village, then something must be done.
Film Forum, which first began in 1970, is the only autonomous nonprofit cinema in New York City and is kept running by loyal membership support and the city’s overall love of artistic cinema. Like any great movie theatre, stepping inside the lobby offers a trip back to the 1970s. Aesthetically, the look and feel of Film Forum’s interior evokes both the arthouse and the grindhouse. Large posters of striking European films decorate the walls, while the concession stand remains loud and lit-up. During my last trip, my friend said, ‘you could smell the popcorn from a block away,’ before purchasing an iced green tea.
For a three-screen cinema, Film Forum screens an astonishing array of films, from current documentaries to critically-acclaimed global narrative. Film Forum also boasts one of the best repertory calendars in the city. Much of today’s movie-watching public is quite content with streaming online movies at home, but for some, there is nothing else like watching an old movie in a theatre, constructed longways (as opposed to stadium-like), with the sounds of popcorn crunching, seat shifting, and projector hums. Some screenings include introductions by or Q&As with featured artists, and a handful of silent movies are accompanied by live music.
If all this still isn’t enough to get you to Film Forum, maybe this will: if you go with me, you’ll get in for free. Just another advantage of going on a date with an Urchin.